Friday, July 24, 2020

First Rant

Well now that I'm off LiveJournal, I can now proceed to complain about what a PITA that was.

Ten years ago there were tools written by a number of people to export LiveJournal content and import it to other platforms (WordPress, Blogger, etc).  Those tools relied on a relatively good API that LiveJournal provided, which has long since been removed.  Now the only functionality they offer is the ability to export posts one-month-at-a-time.

I spent a few hours one night trying out various tools from GitHub, Google Code, etc, and none of them worked.  So on a different night I broke down and started looking at the XML that LiveJournal made available, and hacked together a Perl script to download it all (750 posts in total).

Now I'm a software developer by trade, but the fact of the matter is I don't do much scripting nowadays.  I'm largely neck deep in video codecs, multi-threaded programming, and other low-level really technical complicated things.  A Perl script to scrape a website, download all the images, replace all image references in the XML, and generate an XML blob that can be imported into Blogger is the sort of task I would normally hand to a junior programmer as well as being something that I generally suck at.

So it took two evenings.

That said, it's done, and it didn't turn out half bad.  I suspect there are still a couple of broken images that reference the old blog, but I'll nail that down at some point.  If you wrote one of the 638 comments that were left on the old blog between 2005 and 2013, sorry friend, they ain't getting ported over.